Oct 17 2016

1996: August 31-September 6

tvweek_310896Cover: Fran Drescher (The Nanny)

‘Death by misadventure’
Actors and media identities have criticised Prime Minister John Howard‘s recent announcement to strip the ABC of $70 million in funding over the next two years. “The ABC had such great promise and I don’t see why we buried her,” actor Steve Bisley, starring in ABC’s GP, told TV Week. “It seems like death by misadventure to me. It would be a very lonely place without the ABC. If it goes, I’m going to throw away my TV.” Former ABC journalist Peter Luck, who has been documenting the new prime minister’s regime, saw drastic cuts coming months ago. “I also filmed Peter Costello giving his first press conference as Treasurer. There was just something about his demeanour that made you think he was going to slash at least 10 per cent from public utilities,” Luck told TV Week. “I fear the bad old days and the anti-intellectual Australia we took years to get out of. If you diminish the ABC too much that’s what you get.” Actor Mitchell Butel, from the ABC series Bordertown, also defended the national broadcaster’s role. “The cuts are outrageous,” he told TV Week. “The ABC reaches for the highest goals in Australian television, takes the most risks and offers the most opportunities for real creative energy. It’s very sad that some of it will obviously come to an end.” ABC has already in recent times put the axe to GP and Good News Week. Arts program Review is to be merged with Sunday Afternoon, and the planned American election special by Elle McFeast (Libbi Gorr) has also been dumped. The proposed new sitcom Mother Goose, to star Garry McDonald and Ruth Cracknell, has been dropped, and ABC has also announced cuts to commissioning documentaries. These are just the cuts that have so far been made public, as insiders indicate that the axe is also to fall on more Australian programming in favour of cheaper imports. One program that has been so far saved from the chop is Frontline, which will go into production soon for its third series.

lisamccunejackfinstererHere’s Johnny!
With Blue Heelers detective PJ on leave from town for a month (while, in real life, actor Martin Sacks is overseas on a promotional tour for the show), a new ladies’ man is set to move in. Johnny Kowalski (Jack Finsterer) feels all his Christmases have come at once with two females — Dash (Tasma Walton) and Maggie (Lisa McCune) at the station. “Johnny’s a very good detective,” Finsterer told TV Week. “But as soon as a woman walks in the door, he’s completely distracted. He thinks that everyone’s attracted to him, and he assumes every woman is able to be conquered.” But Maggie Doyle is not one to fall for his charms and makes this very clear when Johnny’s advances become more overt. The more naive Dash is taken in by Johnny’s smooth approach, until she realises what he’s about.

belindaemmettBelinda’s making beautiful music
New Home And Away star Belinda Emmett (pictured) has released a CD and plans to release a single during summer — but the actress distances herself from other actors who have released pop songs. “It (the CD) is very acoustic, because we really wanted to avoid old pre-packaged pop,” she told TV Week. “And also, it’s really not my style at all. I guess the only way to really describe my style is that it’s borderline between Sheryl Crowe and Alanis Morissette. Maybe I’m not quite that calibre yet, but that’s what I’m aiming for.”

Nathan masters his act
Australia is about to get its first indigenous sitcom. The Masters originated as a three-minute skit on SBS current affairs program ICAM (Indigenous Current Affairs Magazine), featuring Nathan Ramsay as a Lycra-clad bike courier. “To go ahead and do a half-hour series will be great,” NIDA-trained Ramsay told TV Week. “Hopefully it will bring relations with black and white Australia a little closer, showing black families as normal and nothing to be scared of. We’ve had Wogs Out Of Work and other cultural things such as that, but we haven’t had anything from an Aboriginal point of view.”


  • Actress Carmen Duncan has been negotiating with Foxtel to be a US correspondent for its nightly entertainment news program. Australian-born Duncan, who starred for several years in the US soap Another World, has in the meantime also been filing reports for Nine‘s Midday, including interviews with Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton for their new film, The First Wives Club.
  • Rhys Muldoon and Robyn Cruze are the latest cast signings for Network Ten‘s new drama Big Sky, joining Gary Sweet, Ally Fowler and Martin Henderson.
  • adamwillitsAdam Willits (pictured), one of the original cast members of Home And Away when it started in 1988, is leaving the series for a second time. He had previously left the show in 1990 but returned five years later. Given that two major characters (played by Dieter Brummer and Dennis Coard) were killed off from the series this year, producers are not planning to have Willits’ character Steven meet a similar demise.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 11 August 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 The Nanny Ten Sun 2169000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2133000
3 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2007000
4 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 2004000
5 The X Files Ten Wed 1929000
6 Movie: Rising Sun Seven Sun 1908000
7 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1887000
8 This Is Your Life Nine Thu 1877000
9 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1849000
10 Getaway Nine Thu 1844000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 31-September 6):
Beyond 2000 (2.30pm, Ten) reports on a robot that is painting masterpieces and mapping the currents to save fish on the Great Barrier Reef. Saturday Night Football (7.30pm, Seven), features Sydney versus West Coast Eagles, live from Sydney.

Sunday: AFL Sunday includes Fremantle Dockers versus Fitzroy (2pm, Seven), live from Perth, followed by highlights of Richmond versus North Melbourne (5pm, Seven) at the MCG. Daryl Braithwaite hosts the special Dreams Can Come True (6.30pm, Ten), a show that grants wishes to everyday people facing ill-health or financial hardship. The show features appearances by Paul Hogan and Mal Meninga. Sunday night movies are Father Hood (Seven), Tombstone (Ten) and the debut of mini-series The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years (Nine).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Shona (Bryony Price) makes her feelings towards Mal (Benjie McNair) quite clear. Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten) presents a special episode from Mount Buller, highlighting some of the activities available not just during snow season but in summer as well. Sandy Roberts hosts the live telecast of AFL Team Of The Century (8.30pm, Seven), highlighting the league’s champion players from past and present.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Travis (Nic Testoni) gets his biopsy results. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), when Tom (John Wood) learns that his daughter may not be returning to Mount Thomas, he decides to enrol his grandson in a local creche. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Vesna (Lenka Kripac) makes a spur-of-the-moment decision to move out of the surgery and into a share house.

juliamorris_0005Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Hannah (Rebecca Ritters) and Phil (Ian Rawlings) are thrilled to hear that Helen (Anne Haddy) has come out of her coma. Full Frontal star Julia Morris (pictured) returns with a new series, More Great Aussie Bloopers (8pm, Seven). In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), an accident while spear fishing puts Trey’s (Lloyd Morris) life in danger.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Steve (Alex Dimitriades) puts off his quest to win Danni (Eliza Szonert). Observational series RPA (9pm, Nine) returns for a new season.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Toadie (Ryan Moloney) has found an electronics catalogue which leads to bargain hunting; and Number 22 is up for auction. Emergency 000 (8pm, Seven) features a 12-year-old girl, injured at a surf event, air-lifted; and follows a busy day on the road with paramedic Steve Mulligan.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 31 August 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-august-31-september-6.html

Oct 16 2016

1996: August 24-30

tvweek_240896Melissa waves goodbye
Since taping her last Home And Away scenes in July, Melissa George (pictured) has been busy with new ventures and has invested her three years’ salary from the show wisely. The 20-year-old has already built up an investment portfolio, including properties in New South Wales and Queensland, antiques and a growing corporate profile. She has just returned from the UK where she has discussed plans for a department store to sell her nightwear range, An Angel At My Table, and is currently working on a lifestyle video, tentatively titled Mind, Body And Soul, for the teenage market. “I’ve diversified my talents, because I’m not going to depend on one thing,” she told TV Week. “I want several options to work on, so that if something doesn’t work out, I can turn my attention to another project.”

Emma fights back
Emma Harrison is back on the set of Neighbours after a four-week break, amid rumours and speculation that she had been sacked. “There were things written about me that were untrue and I’d like to just get on with my job and put all that behind me,” she told TV Week. She denies rumours that she has been unpopular with the other cast members. “I get along with everyone in the cast. Both the cast and crew and great to work with.” Harrison has also expressed regret at some of the cast changes taking place around her, in particular Caroline Gillmer leaving the show. “I’m going to miss Caroline a lot She’s a wonderful person and the most gorgeous actress.”

diarmidheidenreichDiarmid puts his best foot forward
Diarmid Heidenreich (pictured), best known as Dougie the delivery boy in the Pizza Hut commercials, is back on TV after surviving a horrific car crash and the media storm that followed. “The past couple of months haven’t been the most enjoyable, but I’ve moved on. You learn from your mistakes,” he told TV Week. “I was driving a car, I had an accident. I hurt myself, I hurt my girlfriend, I got fined — but I don’t understand why everyone was talking about it. The coverage made me laugh. I think I got more coverage than Ivan Milat and he murdered people! You just have to laugh it off.” Heidenreich, who last year starred in Ten‘s ill-fated Echo Point, is now hosting Nine‘s new children’s game show, Challenger, and is back in the pizza commercials — the latest of which co-stars Melrose Place star Andrew Shue.

darylsomersjobethtaylorJo Beth gets the gig!
When Jo Beth Taylor joined Hey Hey It’s Saturday at the start of the year, the cynics suggested she would be little more than a “Nineties barrel girl”. However, Taylor has proved the critics wrong and impressed Hey Hey It’s Saturday host Daryl Somers (pictured with Taylor) so much that he has appointed her as guest host of the show while he is overseas planning some US specials for later in the year. “When Daryl called me to ask if I’d like to host the show, I asked if he thought I was capable of doing a good job,” she told TV Week. “He said, ‘Yes’, and that was that.”


  • While the stars of Home And Away celebrated the show’s 2000th episode at a lavish harbourside party, a more low-key celebration was being held at Seven‘s Studio A (where Home And Away is taped) for past and present cast and crew and invited media.
  • Beyond 2000 reporter Dr Caroline West has just increased her TV workload by also filing reports for Ten‘s new lifestyle show, Sex/Life. As well as her TV commitments she is also recording country music albums and working one day a week at her Sydney medical practice.
  • Caroline Gillmer admits to having mixed feelings about finishing up on Neighbours after two years. “There’s the great adventure I’m embarking on to an unpredictable future, which makes me very excited,” she told TV Week. “But I’ve come from such a secure environment that there’s also a sense of loss, both for the continued work and the family feeling that’s developed from Neighbours.” Gillmer decided to leave the show as it was forcing her to turn down lucrative offers to work elsewhere in Australia and overseas. She is about to start work on a new Australian film and has accepted an upcoming role with the Melbourne Theatre Company. She has also been awarded a green card, which enables her to work in the US.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 4 August 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2290000
2 The Nanny Ten Sun 2029000
3 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 2022000
4 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2013000
5 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven Sun 1954000
6 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1873000
7 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1867000
8 Getaway Nine Thu 1802000
9 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1796000
10 Friends Seven Mon 1782000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 24-30):
In children’s series Ocean Girl (5.30pm, Ten), Neri (Marzena Godecki), Jason (David Hoflin) and Brett (Jeffrey Walker) bring Kal (Jeremy Angerson) out of suspended animation to experience Earth for the first time. Saturday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Brisbane versus Fremantle, live from Brisbane.

Sunday: AFL Sunday includes West Coast Eagles versus Melbourne (2pm, Seven), live from Perth, and Adelaide Crows versus Collingwood (5.30pm, Seven), live from Adelaide. Sunday night movies are The Vanishing (Seven), The Real McCoy (Nine) and Splitting Heirs (Ten).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Joanne’s (Kimberley Joseph) hatred of Angel (Melissa George) can’t be hidden. Daryl Somers hosts the special Hey Hey It’s The Comedians No.2 (7.30pm, Nine), featuring some of the best comedians to have appeared on Hey Hey It’s Saturday over the years — including Elliot Goblet, Lucky Grills, Marty Fields, Rita Rudner, Anthony Morgan, Bobcat Goldthwaite, Lano & Woodley, Hale & Pace and the Scared Weird Little Guys. Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten) celebrates its 200th episode.

melissageorgejuliangarnerTuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), the relationship between Luke (Bernard Curry) and Danni (Eliza Szonert) is continuing to sour with the influence of Steve George (Alex Dimitriades). In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George, pictured) is finally swayed by Simon’s (Julian Garner, pictured) patience and charm. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Yasmin (Leah Vandenberg) is pleased with herself when she diagnoses a difficult case.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Debbie (Marnie Reece-Wilmore) decides it is time that Phil (Ian Rawlings) has more romance in his life. In Pacific Drive (11.30pm, Nine), Zoe (Libby Tanner) reels from being stood up by Dior (Clodagh Crowe), and Brett’s (Erik Thomson) worries about Tim (Darrin Klimek) increase.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Steven (Adam Willits) and Selina’s (Louise Crawford) secret is out. The special If You Have A Heart (9pm, Nine) looks at the work of Sydney’s St Vincent’s Heart Transplant Unit and follows two patients waiting for heart donors.

Friday: In the 2000th episode of Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) and her family bid farewell to Summer Bay. Seven Nightly News presenter David Johnston hosts the special A Tribute To Port Arthur (8.30pm, Seven), presents a journey to the notorious penal settlement of Port Arthur, filmed prior to the tragic events that took place there earlier in the year. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) features highlights of Essendon versus Footscray from the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 24 August 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-august-24-30.html

Oct 15 2016

1996: August 17-23

tvweek_170896Cover: Heather Locklear (Melrose Place)

Tears for fears
The tears that you see from Tasma Walton‘s character Constable Dash McKinley in this week’s episode of Blue Heelers are real. It’s an emotional storyline in which Dash has to face up to her fears of getting behind the wheel again after seeing her best friend die in a car accident. “I didn’t find the scenes hard to do,” she told TV Week. “I like delving into that darker stuff. The situation for Dash was so traumatic and real, it was quite easy to lose myself in that and have the emotional response that Dash would have had.”

carolinegillmer_0002Caroline crashes out of Neighbours
Neighbours star Caroline Gillmer (pictured) is set to make a dramatic exit from the series in scenes to go to air next month. Her character Cheryl Stark is out on a walk with daughter Lolly (Jiordan Anna Tolli), until Lolly gets distracted by chasing a dog on the road. Cheryl runs after her daughter and straight into the path of an oncoming car. “The incident is a real tragedy,” Gillmer tells TV Week. “There’s a variety of reactions from Cheryl’s family and friends that are all very sad. But the greatest pain is felt by Marlene Kratz (Moya O’Sullivan), Cheryl’s mother.” In a tragic twist, the accident occurs just as Cheryl’s estranged husband Lou (Tom Oliver) is making his way back to Erinsborough after deciding to give their marriage a second chance.

grantbowler_0002Playing doctors and nurses
Network Ten is hoping that its new medical drama Medivac will be a highlight of its upcoming drama slate. The series is set in the emergency ward of Bethlehem West Hospital and features a field of casualties while the hospital staff have dramas of their own. Medivac stars Grant Bowler (Blue Heelers), Nicholas Eadie, Rena Owen, Lisa Forrest, Genevieve Picot, Anthony Grundy and Caroline Kennison. Bowler says there are differences between his former Blue Heelers character Wayne Patterson and his new role of Dr Archibald (Arch) Craven. “This character is more free, fun-loving, and a lot more intelligent,” Bowler tells TV Week. “You know Wayne, God bless him, wasn’t the greatest of human beings. That wasn’t a conscious decision on my part, because I think there are a great many intelligent police officers in the world, but Wayne wasn’t bright and this guy is… which is nice.”


  • Full Frontal star Julia Morris is quitting her breakfast FM radio gig in Melbourne. The 5am starts combined with her other media commitments, including interstate work, were proving too hard to juggle.
  • Teenager Andrew Bibby is the latest addition to the cast of Neighbours. Producers are still looking for a 16-year-old female to join the show.
  • With floods, earthquakes and fires threatening Summer Bay in recent times, it’s probably no wonder that the producers of Home And Away have been asked to cut back on spending.
  • Paul Mercurio, best known from the hit movie Strictly Ballroom, has signed on for his first ongoing role in the new Network Ten series Medivac. Mercurio plays the part of plumber Roy Fields, husband to Macy Fields (played by New Zealand actress Rena Owens).

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 28 July 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 2420000
2 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven Sun 2400000
3 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven M-F 1985000
4 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1958000
5 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1913000
6 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1823000
7 Olympic Games (Day) Seven Sun 1802000
8 The Nanny Ten Sun 1798000
9 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1728000
10 Our House Nine Wed 1711000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 17-23):
In Ocean Girl (5.30pm, Ten), Jason (David Hoflin) and Brett (Jeffrey Walker) borrow a pump to clear the water from the spaceship. When it is gone the children discover a hidden chamber. Saturday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Adelaide Crows versus North Melbourne, live from Football Park, Adelaide.

Sunday: AFL Sunday features West Coast Eagles versus Carlton (2pm, Seven), live from Perth, followed by highlights of Collingwood versus Essendon (5pm, Seven) from the Melbourne Cricket Ground. National Nine News reporter Jo Hall presents the special Zoos: The Bigger Picture (6.30pm, Nine), looking at Melbourne’s three zoo attractions and their development over the decades. Sunday night movies are Silver (Nine) and Scent Of A Woman (Ten) up against the debut of mini-series Tom Clancy’s Op Centre (Seven).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), after witnessing Jude’s (Margie Bainbridge) threats, Mal (Benjie McNair) wants to know more about Darren’s (Todd MacDonald) dealings with the loan sharks. Four Corners (8.30pm, ABC) presents a special edition to celebrate its 35th anniversary.

tasmawaltonTuesday: The 7.30 Report (7.30pm, ABC) presents a special 90-minute edition for the Federal Treasurer Peter Costello‘s announcement of the 1996 Budget, including analysis by Kerry O’Brien and commentary by Barrie Cassidy. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Nick (William McInnes) is surprised by Dash’s (Tasma Walton, pictured) unprofessional behaviour at the scene of a fatal accident, until he learns that both the victims were her friends.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Billy (Jesse Spencer) and Melissa (Aimee Robertson) start to panic when they realise they have slept through the night and may not get home in time for her parents.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Simon (Julian Garner) prepares to leave Summer Bay. Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) features reports on blackwater rafting through caves and underground springs on New Zealand’s North Island, and the Lewin Caves in the Cape Naturaliste National Park in Western Australia.

Friday: Lisa Treloar hosts the new wedding game show I Do I Do (7.30pm, Ten), where three couples compete for the opportunity for the show to host their wedding. Each couple has their families and friends in the audience, dressed in formal clothes, in the hope they will be attending the major prize — a televised wedding.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 17 August 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-august-17-23.html

Oct 09 2016

1996: August 10-16

tvweek_100896Kieren’s the king of Summer Bay
Before heading off to Atlanta to win gold at the Olympic Games, Kieren Perkins paid a visit to the set of Home And Away. “It was fantastic to meet a great Australian champion,” Home And Away cast member Kristy Wright (pictured with Perkins and co-star Nic Testoni) told TV Week. Perkins was joined on set by fellow Australian sports stars Andrew Vlahov, Grant Kenny, Lisa Curry-Kenny, Trevor Hendy and Sharon Oates to promote the Uncle Tobys Talent Towards 2000 campaign. The campaign offers students the chance to win a place at a school camp where they will be coached by top athletes including Perkins and Sam Riley. The camp also features an emphasis on performing arts, so Home And Away stars will also be giving talks on acting. Meanwhile, Kenny and Hendy recently guest starred in the series.

soniatoddSonia’s just along for the ride
Former Police Rescue star Sonia Todd (pictured) had to rapidly acquire some new skills for her next role as Karla in ABC‘s new series Simone De Beauvoir’s Babies. Karla rides a Harley-Davidson, and Todd did not wish to fake the bike-riding scenes. “I learnt to ride and got my bike licence two days before we started rehearsals,” she told TV Week. The four-part mini-series also stars Anne Looby, Laverne McDonnell and Sally Cooper and is about four women in their 30s who meet up at a school reunion and make a pact to have babies, whether they are in a relationship or not.

lisatreloarMarried blitz!
Lisa Treloar (pictured) hosts Network Ten‘s new game show I Do I Do, where hopeful couples compete to win the major prize — a wedding on television in a starlit chapel. “It is far from tacky,” she tells TV Week. “The couples are there because they want to have a good time and do something different. A lot of them couldn’t afford the expense of a wedding. We help them realise a dream. We give them fabulous gowns, they get a wedding cake and we give them a fantastic honeymoon.” Thirteen couples are set to tie the knot over the course of the series. While this is Treloar’s first hosting role, she is not an entire newcomer to television. She was a reporter for Nine‘s Just Kidding and has also appeared in dramas Police Rescue and Rafferty’s Rules.

Till death do us part
Dramatic scenes in the upcoming series final of Water Rats. As the wedding of Goldie Goldstein (Catherine McClements) and John “Knocker” Harrison (Peter Mochie) approaches, the groom-to-be goes on a killing spree of witnesses to the murder of Kevin Holloway (Jeremy Callaghan), of which Knocker is a suspect. Goldie’s loyalty to her fiance is tested and the episode concludes with a gun fight between Goldie, Knocker and Frank Holloway (Colin Friels). Water Rats, a ratings hit for Nine, will return in the new year.


  • kateraison_0001Pacific Drive star Kate Raison (pictured) has decided to leave the show. The actress is currently commuting between her partner in Melbourne and the show’s production on the Gold Coast. She will tape her last scenes in two months’ time, and her character Georgina Ellis is set to make a dramatic exit. Meanwhile, Pacific Drive is about to clock up its 100th episode and will celebrate the milestone with the wedding of Amber (Christine Stephen-Daly) and Trey (Lloyd Morris).
  • Former E Street and Neighbours star Bruce Samazan has signed up for a six-week guest role in Home And Away. He will play the part of Brad, a councillor who helps Chloe (Kristy Wright) through her recent trauma.
  • damianwalshehowling_0002Blue Heelers star Damian Walshe-Howling (pictured) has had to shave his head for a storyline — but it was for a good cause. “It’s to publicise Crop-A-Cop, in which cops have their heads shaved to raise money for child cancer research,” Walshe-Howling told TV Week. “On a lighter note, it’s also an opportunity for me to have a change of hairstyle, which you’re normally not allowed to do in series TV because of continuity.”

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 21 July 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 2877000
2 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 2542000
3 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven Sat 2385000
4 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven Sun 2149000
5 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven M-F 2051000
6 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1989000
7 Olympic Games (Day) Seven Sat 1896000
8 The Nanny (Rpt) Ten Sun 1887000
9 The Nanny Ten Sun 1841000
10 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1785000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 10-16):
Gladiators (7.30pm, Seven) reaches its mid-year Grand Final.

Sunday: AFL Sunday includes Sydney Swans versus Richmond (2pm, Seven), live from Sydney, followed by highlights of Melbourne versus Brisbane (5pm, Seven). Rob Gell and Tracey Dale present the special Has The Weather Gone Mad? (6.30pm, Nine), providing an insight into Melbourne’s unpredictable weather and what the future has in store for Victoria. Sunday night movies are Rising Sun (Seven), Patriot Games (repeat, Nine) and Raising Cain (Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Karl and Susan (Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne) are shocked when Gary Collins (John Powell) pays them a nasty visit. In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), Harrison (Peter Mochrie), Brady (Richard Healy) and Holloway (Colin Friels) are on the hunt for witnesses to the murder of Kevin Holloway (Jeremy Callaghan). The special Forty Years Of Sport (8.30pm, Seven) takes a look at some of the greatest funniest and memorable moments in 40 years of sport on Australian television. In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), Trey (Lloyd Morris) receives another threatening letter.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Haydn (Andrew Hill) is determined to split up Fisher (Norman Coburn) and Marilyn (Emily Symons). In Better Homes And Gardens (7.30pm, Seven), guest Alyssa-Jane Cook shows how she turned her wooden house in a stylish home. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Tom (John Wood) suspects an itinerant worker is responsible for a series of bashings.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Seven), the frantic search for Louise (Jiordan Anna Tolli) continues, as Toadie (Ryan Moloney) and Billy (Jesse Spencer) start realising the trouble they may be in.

carolinegillmeralexdimitriadesThursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), smooth-talking real estate agent Steve George (Alex Dimitriades, pictured), assigned to the sale of Cheryl Stark’s (Caroline Gillmer) house, takes a liking to Cheryl’s daughter Danni (Eliza Szonert). Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) presents a special episode, Holidays In The Sun, with reports on Hawaii, the Great Barrier Reef and Koh Samui,

Friday: Rex Hunt Fishing Adventures In Tasmania (8.30pm, Seven) provides a history lesson on Tasmania and Hunt takes a tour of Australia’s largest exporter of Atlantic salmon. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) features Melbourne versus Fremantle in a delayed telecast from the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 10 August 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-august-10-16.html

Oct 09 2016

1996: August 3-9

tvweek_030896Simon proposes to Angel
In the aftermath of the recent Summer Bay earthquake, Home And Away‘s Angel (Melissa George, pictured) receives a proposal from wealthy businessman Simon Broadhurst (Julian Garner) — but it was second time lucky for Simon. His first proposal was met with some indignation from Angel — feeling that he was buying her love at a time when her home had just been destroyed. His second proposal, at the surf club kiosk, was better received once he convinced Angel he really does love her and her children. But will she accept? Not only that, but Julian is also set to be tempted by the return of Joanna (Kimberley Joseph), who fancies herself as a potential Mrs Broadhurst.

tottiegoldsmith_0002How’s your Sex Life?
The Ten Network is reviving the Sex show formerly produced by the Nine Network. With the new title of Sex/Life, the new show will be hosted by Tottie Goldsmith (last seen on screen in Seven‘s Fire and soon to appear in Foxtel‘s Shark Bay) but will take a somewhat different approach to the former Nine program. “I’m a lot older than Sophie Lee (the previous host) was,” Goldsmith (pictured) told TV Week. “What Tim (Clucas, the show’s executive producer) was going for was not a titillating person to host it. He wanted a bit more maturity and a bit more integrity in the show, I think.”

Alison’s Starr turn
Alison Whyte, best known for playing Emma in Frontline, has begun work on her new role as Stella Starr in Nine‘s new Good Guys Bad Guys. “The role of Stella is such a good one,” she told TV Week. “She is a very frank individual. The producers, Simpson Le Mesurier (Halifax fp), have such a great track record, and that’s a major attraction, too.” Good Guys Bad Guys is centred around the role of Elvis Maninnis (Marcus Graham), a former cop from a criminal family who has connections on both sides of the law. Despite his intentions to distance himself from his past, it has a habit of catching up with him. Meanwhile, Whyte is expected to return to the role of hard-working current affairs producer Emma in Frontline, which is due for a third series in 1997.

jackimacdonald_0005It’s a Mac attack!
Jacki MacDonald (pictured), best known for her years on Hey Hey It’s Saturday but last seen on Derryn Hinch‘s Midday, is returning to TV to host Foxtel‘s new travel channel, Fox Travel. As well as introducing the various shows to appear on the channel, the 14-time TV Week Logie Award winner will be hosting her own one-hour program, Jacki MacDonald’s Destinations.


  • Ally Fowler, last seen in Nine‘s Law Of The Land, is likely to be Gary Sweet‘s leading lady in the new Network Ten series Big Sky. “She has all but signed on the dotted line,” according to an inside source. Production on Big Sky is due to commence in late August with the series to debut on air early in 1997.
  • Fast Forward stars Steve Vizard and Peter Moon are making a return to our screens. The pair will be appearing in a series of sketches on Full Frontal. “I’m back because I like to put funny wigs on,” Vizard told TV Week. “Come to think of it I do that at home, anyway!”
  • Former Dallas star Linda Gray, on a recent visit to Australia, has filmed a segment for an upcoming edition of This Is Your Life. But it has not been revealed which upcoming This Is Your Life subject receives her tribute.
  • The two-hour telemovie which serves as the debut episode of Nine‘s Good Guys Bad Guys is to feature Nadine Garner, Sophie Lee and former The Box and Sons And Daughters star Belinda Giblin.
  • It’s been a long wait, but Friends is finally making its Australian debut. The hit US sitcom has taken two years to get to Australian screens, largely due to a battle between the Seven and Nine networks for rights to the show. The series about a group of six New York singles debuts this week on Seven, screening on both Monday and Thursday nights.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 14 July 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Seven Sat 3079000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2364000
3 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2310000
4 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 2244000
5 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 2208000
6 ER Nine Thu 2169000
7 The Nanny (repeat) Ten Sun 2079000
8 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 2067000
9 The Nanny Ten Sun 2057000
10 Our House Nine Wed 2020000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 3-9):

The Games Of The XXVI Olympiad: Olympic Games coverage continues over the weekend for the last two days of competition, including the Men’s Marathon (9pm Sunday, Seven). The Closing Ceremony (11am Monday, Seven) includes the handing over of the Olympic flag to representatives of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Committee. The Closing Ceremony is repeated in prime time (8.30pm Monday, Seven).

Saturday: John Higginson and Rebecca Gibney are among the actors voicing the new animated series The Silver Brumby (3.30pm, Ten). In the series return of Ocean Girl (5.30pm, Ten), the Bates family holiday is cut short when the fish breeding grounds are destroyed.

Sunday: AFL Sunday (2pm, Seven) features Sydney Swans versus Melbourne, live from Sydney, followed by West Coast Eagles versus Essendon (4pm, Seven), live from Perth. In Sun On The Stubble (6pm, ABC), Dad (Christian Kohlund) finally buys a car, but the advanced technology of the Model T remains a mystery to him. In the series final of Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine), the ruthless husband of Emily’s (Sheryl Munks) schoolfriend holds Patersons Ridge to ransom. Sunday night movies are Ghost (repeat, Nine) and Wide Sargasso Sea (Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Libby (Kym Valentine) and Darren (Todd MacDonald) trip to the beach has been more than successful. In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), Harrison (Peter Mochrie) is called to negotiate with a potential suicide on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), the memory of Shane still comes between Angel (Melissa George) and Simon (Julian Garner). In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Henry (Steve Bisley) is drawn into a dispute between two brothers and their small business operation. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Maggie’s (Lisa McCune) deepening relationship with her university tutor causes sparks with PJ (Martin Sacks) as they investigate the death of a young ballet dancer.

johnjarratt_0001Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Karl (Alan Fletcher) is tired of Darren’s (Todd MacDonald) involvement with Libby (Kym Valentine). Better Homes And Gardens co-host John Jarratt (pictured) hosts the new series, Australia’s Strangest Home Improvements (8pm, Seven). The documentary Nobody’s Children 7 Years On (8.30pm, ABC) features David Goldie tracking down the street kids he spoke to seven years ago and finds out what has happened in their lives since then.

Thursday: In Getaway (7.30pm, Nine), Lochie Daddo looks at the luxurious penthouse apartments where the rich and famous stay on Queensland’s Gold Coast, and later he stays in a pyramid in the Grampians National Park in Victoria; while Rebecca Harris embarks on a 1600km, four-day mountain bike ride from Kalgoorlie to Uluru. Tottie Goldsmith hosts the new series Sex/Life (8.30pm, Ten).

peterluck_0001Friday: Peter Luck (pictured) hosts the new series Where Are They Now? (7.30pm, Seven), checking in on some former famous and infamous faces — including catching up with Don Adams of Get Smart fame. The new series Emergency 000 (8pm, Seven) goes behind the scenes with emergency services personnel. Friday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Fremantle versus Collingwood, live from Perth.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 3 August 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-august-3-9.html

Oct 08 2016

Obituary: Ross Higgins

rosshigginsRoss Higgins, the actor best known as Ted Bullpitt in Kingswood Country, has died at the age of 85.

Higgins’ career began in radio, at Sydney station 2GB, in 1946. His radio career alternated between both commercial radio and ABC.

The advent of television in 1956 saw Higgins move into the new medium, including hosting ABC’s Children’s TV Club and performing on early variety shows. He also became a familiar voiceover artist in radio and TV commercials — including voicing the cartoon character ‘Louie The Fly’ in commercials for Mortein fly spray. Louie The Fly became one of the most enduring characters in Australian advertising, lasting for over 50 years.

YouTube: Conniptions886

Higgins also provided the voice of Mr Pound in the advertising campaign promoting Australia’s conversion to decimal currency in 1966.

YouTube: RBAinfo

His first major acting role on television was as Reverend Larcombe in the Seven Network serial drama Motel in 1968. This was followed by appearances in Skippy The Bush Kangaroo, Riptide, Woobinda Animal Doctor, Dynasty, Division 4 and Rush.

In 1977 he joined Kevin Goldsby and Noeline Brown in the sketch comedy series The Naked Vicar Show. One of the characters he portrayed in the show was that of suburban bigot Ted Bullpitt, who became the central character in the sitcom Kingswood Country. The spin-off series ran for 89 episodes over four years.

Higgins made a return to TV in 1988 as police sargeant Dan Costello in the short-lived series Richmond Hill. His next TV role was in the sitcom Late For School.

An attempt to reprise the Ted Bullpitt character in the 1997 series Bullpitt! was not to be as successful as Kingswood Country, but did manage to last two seasons.

Feature film credits included Fatty Finn and Ginger Meggs as well as a string of voicing roles for animated features including Dot And The Kangaroo and its various spin-offs.

Ross Higgins is survived by his wife Nadine and four adult children

Source: The Age, Wikipedia, TV Times, IMDB, Reserve Bank Of Australia. Forty Years Of Television: The Story Of ATN7.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/obituary-ross-higgins.html

Oct 07 2016

Obituary: Rebecca Wilson

rebeccawilsonRebecca Wilson, sports journalist and former TV presenter, has died at the age of 54 after a private battle with breast cancer.

Brisbane-born Wilson was the daughter of foreign correspondent Bruce Wilson and sister to Seven News sports presenter Jim Wilson. Her career started as a cadet journalist for the Courier Mail newspaper in Brisbane. She was a sports journalist for Eyewitness News in Brisbane in the 1980s and was part of Network Ten‘s Olympic Games coverage in 1988.

She later went to ABC and developed a new profile as a co-host on the popular sports program The Fat. Wilson then followed co-host Tony Squires across to Seven for 110% Tony Squires. The pair, with Mikey Robins, also hosted the breakfast show on Sydney radio station Vega 95.3.

She covered the Olympic Games for the Seven Network in 2004 and 2008 and the Commonwealth Games for Foxtel in 2010, and was a sports commentator for Sunrise.

Wilson also was an award-winning journalist at the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph and appeared as a panellist on SportsNight With James Bracey on Sky News.

Husband John Hartigan and sons Tom and Will issued a joint statement to pay tribute: “Courage has always been a significant part of her DNA, no less in her desperate battle against her insidious disease.

“Rebecca kept knowledge of her illness a closely guarded secret.

“The majority of her friends, colleagues and indeed members of her family were unaware of the extent of her illness.

“She did so to limit their suffering.”


Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Wikipedia



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/obituary-rebecca-wilson.html

Oct 04 2016

SBS Viceland launches 15 November

sbsvicelandSBS Viceland, the new joint venture between SBS and US content producer Vice, is to launch on 15 November at 4.00pm.

The new channel, first announced back in June, will replace the current SBS2 channel and will also be available via SBS On Demand.

SBS promises that the new channel will feature “the best of SBS2 news, sport and entertainment alongside the best programs from VICELAND – the distinctive channel of VICE-produced programs overseen by award-winning Director Spike Jonze, which launched to critical acclaim in the United States earlier this year. The line-up will include new shows covering culture, music, sports, fashion, technology and more, from around the world”.

Further details about programming and schedules for SBS Viceland are still to be announced, though a 1800 number has been set up for callers to give their feedback on what they want, or don’t want, from the new channel:

YouTube: SBS2Australia

The launch of SBS Viceland comes almost a year to the day after the launch of SBS’ other channel Food Network, programmed via a licencing agreement with lifestyle producer Scripps Networks Interactive.

Source: SBS, Vice



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/sbs-viceland-launches-15-november.html

Oct 03 2016

Ernie Sigley diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

erniesigleyFormer radio and television personality Ernie Sigley (pictured) has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

The family of the 78-year-old entertainer released a statement earlier today that he had been living with the disease for most of this year. The family released the statement after various approaches from media over the weekend with Sigley’s beloved Western Bulldogs winning the AFL Grand Final for the first time in over 60 years.

“While he would love to have been at the MCG to watch his beloved Western Bulldogs make history, Ernie had to settle for the live television broadcast,” the statement said.

With a career beginning in radio as a teenager, Sigley was one of the first hosts on Melbourne television, presenting the pop music show Teenage Mailbag on HSV7 from 1957.

He worked overseas at the BBC and Radio Luxembourg before returning to Australia to host Adelaide Tonight for almost a decade. His popularity in Adelaide saw him collect a number of TV Week Logies for South Australia.

tvweek_220375Returning to Melbourne in 1974, for two years he hosted the national The Ernie Sigley Show from GTV9 with Denise Drysdale. The show was a ratings hit and the pair (pictured with John Wayne) collected Gold Logies in 1975 for their popularity with viewers.

Later hosting credits for Sigley included Ernie, The Penthouse Club (later Saturday Night Live), Wheel Of Fortune, Thursday Night Live, The Ernie Sigley Show (again), Pot Luck, In Melbourne Today and In Sydney Today — the latter two re-uniting him with Drysdale on screen and which later became Ernie And Denise.

Sigley also continued to work in Melbourne radio for many years, including 3DB, 3AK and over a decade in the afternoon shift at 3AW.

He retired from radio in 2008 but continued to perform, including a tour with Drysdale.

One of his most recent TV appearances was with Drysdale on the morning show The Circle in 2010.

Source: The Age, 3AW





Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/ernie-sigley-diagnosed-with-alzheimers.html

Oct 01 2016

Nine Perth opens new CBD studio

stw9_newstudioPerth’s STW Nine has officially opened its new studio premises located in the CBD at 253 St Georges Terrace.

The new complex, which occupies approximately 2500 square metres of office space across three buildings for its 130 staff, includes a fully digitised and automated studio which is the most modern in Australia. The new studio, which is a window-front location, also features the Nine Network’s first new-look news set.

Nine started broadcasting from the new studio two weeks ago but it was officially opened this week by West Australian Premier Colin Barnett and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop (pictured above cutting the ribbon with Nine News presenters Emmy Kubainski and Tim McMillan). Also in attendance were State Opposition Leader Mark McGowan and the Lord Mayor of Perth, Lisa Scaffidi plus network personalities and 250 invited guests.

The new studio replaces Nine’s former premises located in the suburb of Dianella, a studio complex constructed back in 1965 (pictured below) for the opening of the then new channel, STW9.





Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/nine-perth-opens-new-cbd-studio.html

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